Title: Revisiting the origin of money: from precious metals to work: alternative pathways on the origin of currency and its impact on modern economics

Authors: Bas Dommerholt

Addresses: Capital Markets Integrity Department, Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets, The Netherlands

Abstract: This article explores how money evolved from records of food distributions kept by early farmers. Food distributions became wage standards that were used in regulatory supervision to denominate the costs of the production of goods. These cost prices enabled accountants to calculate balance sheet totals, long before the first coins were issued. Coins were tokens of credit that came with a precious metal lien to limit credit risk after the Bronze Age collapse and the prohibition of interests. This evidence-based explanation of money potentially affects policy discussions ranging from predatory lending to digital currency. Teachers aspiring to provide students with a historically accurate understanding should consider integrating this article into their standard explanation of money.

Keywords: origin of money; accounting; prices; taxes; seigniorage; digital currency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2023.138579

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2023 Vol.14 No.3/4, pp.219 - 233

Received: 15 May 2023
Accepted: 21 Nov 2023

Published online: 13 May 2024 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article